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Norah O'Donnell and Chef Geoff cook up three kids, one best-selling book

Norah O'Donnell and Geoff Tracy with their twins, Grace and Henry, 2010. (Timothy Devine)

Sure, it looks like Norah O'Donnell has it all: glamour job, college-sweetheart husband, adorable kids. It would be just a little too perfect if the MSNBC chief Washington correspondent was a whiz in the kitchen, too.

"Oh, I admit it: I'm a terrible cook," she told us Thursday. "But that doesn't mean I don't cook. I make lots of stuff. I'm known for my banana bread."

Why care about her culinary talents? Because she's the co-author of the new "Baby Love" cookbook with her chef/husband, Geoff Tracy, who owns five restaurants in and around Washington.

It was Chef Geoff who started making homemade baby food when their 3-year-old twins, Henry and Grace, were born, followed soon after by baby sis Riley, now 2. But O'Donnell said the idea for the book (his first ever) came to her after she watched him prepare the purees and other no-fuss dishes. "I said, 'Oh my God. This is so easy. We have to tell people.' And Geoff was like, 'Nobody cares.' "

But she persevered: She says he created and developed all the recipes, but she researched and wrote all the childhood nutrition tips. The book -- aimed for parents of infants and toddlers -- was released last week and is already selling like . . . yeah, blueberry hotcakes (another family favorite).

The couple is making the book-tour rounds between her network gig and his five professional kitchens. Tracy does most of the cooking at home, and the kids are already fans of veggies and fruits. (Sheesh, do they volunteer to clean their rooms, too?) "They eat a pretty healthy diet, lots of rice with chopped vegetables, chicken, pasta," O'Donnell said. "And jelly sandwiches -- they don't like peanut butter yet."

And when Tracy's too busy to cook? A swing by the family restaurants. "There's nothing better than free takeout," she said with a laugh.

By The Reliable Source  |  September 10, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
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